This may sound trivial, but I need some advice. I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter who is smart, happy and healthy. She is going through the normal phase of asking "why" in reference to anything and everything, but it is really starting to get on my nerves. She doesn't ask why the sky is blue or why the grass is green, she asks why about everything and even if I give her an explanation, she'll ask why again. She'll ask, "why are we going home?" I'll say because school is over and she'll ask why. When I say we're going to eat dinner, she'll ask why. I try to give simple explanations, but no matter what I say she continues to ask why. The last thing I want to do is stifle her curiosity, but it annoys me to the point where I've actually told her not to ask my why anymore for that day. She is also going through a phase where she is afraid to be alone in any room of our house. Even though I work during the day,(she is in daycare and does great) we go home and she's on top of me every second (even in the bathroom) and she's constantly chatting and asking why. The umpteenth time she says "mommy...." and I say WHAT with obvious frustration in my voice, she'll tell me that she loves me. Is this manipulation, natural curiosity, WHAT? (PS, I feel guilty for feeling frustrated and annoyed). By the way, my husband is a police officer on the evening shift, so she and I are usually alone, and my frustration is compounded by the fact that I'm 8 months pregnant and not sleeping too well.(She seems excited about the new baby, no obvious distress there). I guess my real question is... is this acceptable/normal behavior and HOW DO I COPE WITH IT WITHOUT LOSING MY MIND????? Thanks alot for any advice you can give.
Yes, your daughter's behavior is entirely normal. At this age, children are very curious and they are also acquiring greater facility with language. The two combine to result in many 'Why' questions and frequent chatting about trivial, day-to-day realities.
Children at this age, while they are engaging in some attempts an doing things 'by myself', also are still very much dependent on their parents and wary of separations from them. So, they can at times be clingy and worried about wandering around the house unaccompanied.
As you suspect, the problem is in your responses. Your daughter is doing nothing wrong - she's being a normal child. You are under stress, but as you know this does not mean that you should react with impatience to your daughter.
Try to reassure yourself that she is acting in a normal fashion, even though this can wear on you. And you needn't reply to each and every 'Why'. Instead, take the lead and introduce other kinds of talk - ask your daughter about things, show her things, simply play with her, etc.
And, you may need some outlet for yourself. Do you have some social supports (family, friends, neighbors)? Try to enlist their 'help' via conversations and chat about what you're going through. This will give you some resilience as you interact with your daughter.
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